The Goshawk quickly made peace with his lord, and enjoyed the commendation of the Kaiser. Dietrich Schill thought of challenging him; but the Club had graver business: and this was to pass sentence on Berthold Schmidt for the crime of betraying the White Rose into the hands of Werner. They had found Berthold at the Eck, and there consented to let him remain until ransom was paid for his traitorous body. Berthold in his mad passion was tricked by Werner, and on his release, by payment of the ransom, submitted to the judgement of the Club, which condemned him to fight them all in turn, and then endure banishment from Rhineland; the Goshawk, for his sister’s sake, interceding before a harsher tribunal.
Seven days Kaiser Heinrich remained camped outside Cologne. Six times in six successive days the Kaiser attempted to enter the city, and was foiled.
‘Beard of Barbarossa!’ said the Kaiser, ’this is the first stronghold that ever resisted me.’
The warrior bishops, electors, pfalzgrafs, and knights of the Empire, all swore it was no shame not to be a match for the Demon.
‘If,’ said the reflective Kaiser, ’we are to suffer below what poor Cologne is doomed to undergo now, let us, by all that is savoury, reform and do penance.’
The wind just then setting on them dead from Cologne made the courtiers serious. Many thought of their souls for the first time.
This is recorded to the honour of Monk Gregory.
On the seventh morning, the Kaiser announced his determination to make a last trial.
It was dawn, and a youth stood before the Kaiser’s tent, praying an audience.
Conducted into the presence of the Kaiser, the youth, they say, succeeded in arousing him from his depression, for, brave as he was, Kaiser Heinrich dreaded the issue. Forthwith order was given for the cavalcade to set out according to the rescript, Kaiser Heinrich retaining the youth at his right hand. But the youth had found occasion to visit Gottlieb and Margarita, each of whom he furnished with a flash,[flask ?] curiously shaped, and charged with a distillation.
As the head of the procession reached the gates of Cologne, symptoms of wavering were manifest.
Kaiser Heinrich commanded an advance, at all cost.
Pfalzgraf Nase, as the old chronicles call him in their humour, but assuredly a great noble, led the van, and pushed across the draw-bridge.